It's been hard to keep up at times, between family, editing work, and grad school, but every time I stop to read I become re-interested. We live far beneath our powers of communication, in my opinion. There are words for things I never knew existed. There are words for verbs I never thought could be verbs. And just contemplating the definition of a word I thought I knew can spark a new understanding or nuance of that concept.
In a word, it's been enlightening (which, by the way, is not in the Scrabble Dictionary, and makes me want to read the full OED).
My coding methods in the dictionary margins have solidified:
U = Units of things. Why units? I am amazed that humans can settle on what can often be an arbitrary amount of something, and as that something becomes a standard, it becomes the point of departure from which meaning is made.
♡ = Words I particularly love for whatever reason. They usually tend to be words for different kinds of winds or words I find amusing or ridiculous (e.g., bovinity: the state of being a cow).
? = Words I'd like to see a picture of or investigate further (which I admittedly don't often have time to do). I sometimes post the best ones in a slideshow in the posts.
! = Surprising or unexpected words or definitions
V = Vivid words I might like to use in my writing sometime (I don't blog about these)
M = Metaphysical words I read that take me into thought tangents. I'll probably write about these at some point (e.g., fact: something known with certainty . . . can one really know something with certainty? Or do we just like being certain about things because it makes us feel more in control of life, which is ultimately uncontrollable? I've found that knowledge I previously thought was fact has often been replaced by a greater knowledge, or perhaps wisdom, which is often unaccompanied not by a feeling of certainty but of humility at my continued ignorance of life, the universe, and everything in it.)
[ = connections between similar words, whether real or imagined. I'll probably write more about this later as well.
:( = words where the male is neutral and the female is marked. If you haven't read "Wears Jump Suit. Sensible Shoes. Uses Husband's Last Name." by Deborah Tannen, I highly recommend it (it's online and free). It has changed the way I look at people.
D = Direction words. To help me be more descriptive in my writing.
Here's to the rest of a great year! Thanks for reading.